Conversion or “Reparative” Therapy

“Reparative” therapy is based on the concept that homosexuality can (and should be) cured.

Even tod­ay, there continues to be social and religious prejudices against homosexual people in the U.S. The negative feelings produced by the stigma of these experiences, as well as encouragement by misinformed people and organizations, prompts some people to seek “reparative” therapy.

However, for nearly 40 years, the medical and scientific communities — as a result of numerous studies — have affirmed that homosexuality is not a mental illness and does not need a “cure.” In fact, a substantial amount of research supports that attempts to change sexual orientation can be harmful to the individual. 


MPIPP has developed these fact sheets on the mental health impact of sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) on LGBT people, their families, and their allies. MPIPP fact sheets generally contain key points of representative research that is cited on the second page.



Shown here are examples of research and reports or surveys that address the psychological impact of sexual orientation change efforts (also called “reparative therapy”). The research shown is generally representative of a larger body of peer-reviewed research.  Please note that not all individuals or families are affected in the same way.  Also, most of the reports shown here also have extensive bibliographical references that can be reviewed for a more complete analysis of this topic.

  • Report of the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation. The American Psychological Association (APA) Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation conducted a systematic review of the peer-reviewed journal literature on sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) and concluded that efforts to change sexual orientation are unlikely to be successful and involve some risk of harm, contrary to the claims of SOCE practitioners and advocates.